7 Words on the Cross

April 10, 2020

 

“Father forgive them. They do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34

 

It was my sins. It was your sins. It was Noah’s sins. It was Abraham Lincoln’s sins. It was all of our sins and the sins of all people that have ever lived,  that put Jesus there. It was the suffering that God had planned to carry out to take away the sins of the entire world. One perfect sacrifice who would have to endure suffering and shame. It all happened in public. It happened at the hands of the most powerful government in the world at the time. In capitol city of his chosen people at the time of their highest holiday. It didn’t happen in a corner. His suffering for the reason that he and his disciples declared was to save the world from sin. 

 

After being beaten by multiple times. Whipped. The crown of thorns on his head. Being dragged back and forth through multiple court rooms of people who were powerful according the worlds standards. And then he carrying the cross that caused him to collapse under its weight. He finally made it up to the hill that he was going to die on. A hill that he had been walking towards his entire life. And being nailed to the cross. The first words that we hear from his mouth, is “Father forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.”

 

Even in the worst physical pain that the Roman government could think of. Even with people literally trying to kill him. Even in a sleep deprived, beaten and suffering state. He looks at the people who are actively hurting him, and what does he want for them. He prays for God to give them the forgiveness of sins. 

 

No revenge. No malice. Not even anger. It is just compassion for people who live in a world that is full of sin, that has lead them to be looking at the savior of the world, and instead of worshiping him, they are putting him to death. Sin has blinded so many people from seeing the God of love, and mercy, that they can not see him for who he really is, even though written above his head is Jesus Christ king of the Jews. Even though the streets of Jerusalem where full of shouts a few days ago, Hosanna to the highest. Even though they had heard of his miracles. Sin made them not see their God. 

 

This is the reason that he was on that cross. He was there to show the love of God to each and every man woman and child that has been or will ever be born. He was there to die for their sins, so that each and every one of your sins, would be forgiven. No matter what guilt you have in your life, even if you had been one of those who put your savior to death. Jesus wants you to be forgiven. Jesus wants you to be in heaven forever. Jesus wants you to know just how great the love of your God is for you. Our God forgives us. 

 

Hymn 125 v. 1

1 When I survey the wondrous cross

on which the Prince of glory died,

my richest gain I count but loss,

and pour contempt on all my pride.

“Truly I say to you, Today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43

This is different than the last one. To those who were blind in their unbelief, Jesus prayed for mercy. But to the man that asks God for mercy, a promise is given. Very different. People had been talking to Jesus the last couple of days. He didn’t speak very often. He was hit and they said prophecy to us who hit you. He was mocked and ridiculed, yet he did not open his mouth. He was being taunted while being on the cross “This man saved others let him save himself.” But he doesn’t validate any of these with a response. While the world around him was persecuting him, he just quietly kept doing what he needed to do to save you and me. Even though the voices mocking him were loud none of them seemed to get the attention of our God. 

 

But then to the man that made a request from Jesus. Jesus was only asked for one thing on the cross that we have record of. He was asked by a sinner who had been sentenced to death, to remember him. To remember someone, is not just to remember mentally a person. As if Jesus gets to heaven and is going to say to God the father, you would not believe who I talked to today, it was this thief on the cross right next to me. When God remembers someone he acts upon the love that he has for them. This man on the cross was not asking that Jesus remember having a conversation with him. He is asking Jesus to look into his heart and see the faith that he had. That thief confessed his faith when he told the other thief that “We are being punished justly, but this man (Meaning Jesus) he has done nothing wrong. Jesus remember that the holy spirit has put faith in my heart. Jesus remember that I know that you are my Savior. Jesus don’t remember my sins, but remember that I am putting all of my hope in you. 

 

We aren’t on the cross next to Christ. But we want to have the same prayer as that thief had. Even if you haven’t stolen or been convicted of any crime in your life. Even if you don’t feel like you will ever have to fear some great crime that brings public shame upon you and your family. We have shamed our God through the imperfect lives that we have lived. It’s only him that we rely on. God remembering us in his love and having his love and mercy cover our sins so that you and I can enter everlasting life. 

 

It is the promise that he made to that man on that day. It is a promise that he makes to you. One day you and all who believe in him will have everlasting life

 

125 v 2

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

save in the death of Christ, my God!

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them through his blood.

When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. - John 19:26

Can you imagine being Mary there. Can you imagine looking up at your son. Your perfect son, who has done nothing wrong in his entire life and seeing him treated like the worst of all criminals. I wonder what was going through her mind. I wonder if she was remembering all of those moments that she had treasured up in her heart. I wonder if she remembered that night in Bethlehem where she gave birth to him in a stable with just her and her husband. And now instead of being in a wooden manger, swaddled to keep him warm and comfortable. There is your son, on a wooden cross, stripped of all comforts of this world, being killed. 

 

Jesus was suffering the physical pain of this world. He was suffering the wrath of God for the sins of the entire world. He was tired. He was approaching death. But when he looked down from the cross. He saw his earthly family. He saw his mother, and his disciple John. And even in his pain, he thought about their earthly future. He knew that his sacrifice on the cross would give them everlasting life paying for their sins. But he still cared for their time while they were here are earth. 

The love that our Savior has for us goes to all aspects of our lives. He cares for us spiritually. He cares for us physically. He just loves you. And he gives his disciple John a great responsibility. Please take care of my mother Mary. And from our church traditions we know that John did.  We know that this special request that his Lord and his God made of him, he obeyed.  

 

In these first three words on the cross you see Jesus talking to people. He cares for his enemies. He cares for those who believe in him, no matter what sins they have committed in their lives. He cares for his mothers physical needs while she is still here on earth. He cares for all people, and wants all to be saved. Our Savior even in his deepest sufferings shows the selfless love that he has for all mankind. 

 

 

125 v.3

See, from his head, his hands, his feet,

sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet,

or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 

At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon, Jesus shouted out in a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi Lama Sabactani, which is translated, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? Mark 15:33-34

 

For three hours Jesus’ suffering reached its climax. He suffered not just physical pain. He suffered Hell. He suffered a complete separation from the love of God. He suffered what we deserved. He was completely cut off from everything that is good. He was the last person to deserve this. 

 

He was perfect. With him God was well pleased. God the Father spoke that to him from heaven. The voice from heaven was heard just a few days ago when Jesus was in the temple. He was speaking to a crowd of people. He predicted his death saying that the time for him to die was near. Jesus said, “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” And the Father responded with a voice from heaven that said, “I have glorified it and I will glorify it again.”

 

Now the perfect sacrifice was brining ultimate glory to the father. Now God’s plan of salvation was being fulfilled. Now the sacrifice that was scarified once for all the sins was being slain on the cross.

 

Jesus knew why he was suffering in this way. But as true man, knowing that he had committed no wrong. He cries out in agony, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” Still there is no sin in him. Even suffering this great injustice receiving punishment for every sin that he did not commit, he still acknowledges his God. The Lord Almighty. The God of the Bible. The God of the universe. Our God. 

 

We should be forsaken. We should be cast away. We should be suffering. But the compassionate God in his love planned to suffer for you. Jesus was forsaken instead of you. It was him, so that that it didn’t have to be me. How great is the love of God, that he would do this for you and me. 

 

125. v. 4 

4 Were the whole realm of nature mine,

that were a present far too small.

Love so amazing, so divine,

demands my soul, my life, my all. 

 

I am thirsty. John 19:28

He is still fully man. Jesus didn’t escape from the pain. He took it on and suffered it. Jesus didn’t use any of his power to alleviate any of the suffering. He didn’t use anything to numb himself up there on the cross. He took every ounce of it. He was still a man who was thirsty. The prophecies written by the Psalms were coming true one after another. Here the words of Psalm 22 are fulfilled. The scene on the cross was sung for almost a thousand years. It had to be this way. And Jesus willingly became the sacrifice that we needed. He was thirsty because his suffering was real. He was thirsty and he wanted the next words that he was going to speak to be heard by all who were near so that they could tell the whole world. But to better understand his suffering. Let us listen to the words of Psalm 22, a Psalm of David, a prophecy of the scene on the cross. 

 

Read Psalm 22

120 v. 1-2

 

1 What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,

what wondrous love is this, O my soul! 

What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss 

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul, 

to bear the dreadful curse for my soul! 

 

2 When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,

when I was sinking down, sinking down;

when I was sinking down beneath God's righteous frown,

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul, for my soul,

Christ laid aside his crown for my soul!

 

It is Finished! John 19:30

It is finished! This is one of the most important “its” that has ever been spoken. In greek it's just one word. 3rd person singular, he, she or it, is completed. It’s done. It’s official. Nothing left. Nothing more. “It” is your salvation. It is the work that you need to do to pay for your sins. It is the work that every one needs to do to pay for their sins. It is a perfect sacrifice that cannot be taken back. It is complete. It is not lacking one iota. It is done. 

 

It means that you can silence that little voice inside your head that says how do you know God loves you. It is finished. It means that no matter how guilty your conscience feels for past sins, they have been forgiven. It is finished. It means that you can tell any person you will ever meet that Jesus Christ died on the cross and paid for every one of their sins. Because it is finished. There is no more that needs to be done. There is no more payment necessary. The entire price, all of the suffering, all of the punishment has been suffered. The wrath of God for the sins of the world have been satisfied by this 33 year plus work of our one and only Savior. It is 

finished. 

 

He took that drink of sour wine so that he voice could be heard. So that all would know this what it was. What greater it could there be. What greater comfort could there be. It was finished for you. It was done out of love for you. It cost him everything so that you could have everything. It is the beautiful undeniable demonstration of love for you. It is finished. 

 

120. v .3

 

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing, 

to God and to the Lamb, I will sing; 

to God and to the Lamb, who is the great I AM, 

while millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing, 

while millions join the theme, I will sing! 

 

And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on, I'll sing on, 

and when from death I'm free, I'll sing on; 

and when from death I'm free, I'll sing and joyful be, 

and through eternity I'll sing on, I'll sing on, 

and through eternity I'll sing on! 

Father into your hands I commit my Spirit. When he said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

God’s perfect will had been accomplished. Jesus, being fully God and fully man. Lived the perfect life, suffered the wrath of man and God, and completed God’s plan of salvation for you. And now, he would go through the curse of sin, death. 

His life was not taken from him. Throughout the entire process, he was the one who went willingly. He was the one that went up into Jerusalem to suffer and to die. He is the one who went out to gethsemane. He is the one that said to his disciples rise let us go here comes my betrayer. He was the one let the high priest Caiphas, and Pontus Pilate act as his judge. He is the one that emptied himself of his power and chose to suffer rather than to save himself, even when he was being mocked. He is the one that chose to suffer for you. And he is the one that gave up his spirit. He is the one that laid down his life. His is the one who the power to do that and the power to take it up again. He is the God of life and also the God of death. There is nothing that is outside of his control. 

 

Our Savior just like he had done his entire life, was committed to the will of the Father. He and the Father are one. He gave up his life, putting it all in the hands of the father. And with that, our Savior and our God. Breathed his last. And he died for you. 

 

125 v. 4

And when from death I'm free, I'll sing on, I'll sing on, 

and when from death I'm free, I'll sing on; 

and when from death I'm free, I'll sing and joyful be, 

and through eternity I'll sing on, I'll sing on, 

and through eternity I'll sing on!

 

 

 

 

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